Job Type: Unpaid
Salary Details: up to $50/week stipend for qualifying individuals
Deadline: Jul 15, 2021
Required Experience: 0 – 1 years

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The American Bear Association is looking for qualified, energetic interns for the Summer 2021 season at the Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary in the North Woods of Minnesota. The Sanctuary offers a one-of-a-kind opportunity for the public to view and learn about wild black bears. Some interns may qualify for a small stipend.

Eco-Volunteer Application

Intern Duties at the Bear Sanctuary

Morning/afternoon jobs

  • Picking up and/or unloading supplies, including 50-pound bags of seed and 35-pound bags of fruit and nuts. Heavy lifting is often a part of the job and is therefore required.
  • Daily cleanup of feeding areas and scat removal
  • Maintaining the property, including carpentry projects
  • Planting, mulching, weed-eating and other landscape improvement projects
  • Preparing and distributing bear food mixtures
  • Splitting firewood, road maintenance and other miscellaneous tasks
  • Maintain records on bear activity and behavior
  • Photograph individual bears for records
  • Bird count survey via
  •  MN annual berry study via MN Department of Natural Resources
  • Research projects are sometimes available upon request. If it is a requirement for your internship, an adviser must oversee the research project
  • Cooking meals for staff and volunteers, and kitchen cleanup
  • Write articles for our newsletter, Bear in Mind
  • Prepare educational material for our followers on Facebook and Instagram and our email subscribers

Jobs during evening/visitors’ hours include:

  • Assisting with admission and parking cars
  • Greeting visitors on their arrival
  • Talking with the public and answering their questions
  • Educating the public about black bears, ecology, behavior, practical environmental conservation and land stewardship
  • Preparing formal 3-8 minute deck talks that interpret bear behavior and debunk any myths and misconceptions our visitors may have regarding bears
  • Execute a prepared 5 minute introductory bus talk on the history of the bears and Vince Shute
  • Sale of souvenirs and educational materials in the gift shop and at our visitor center
  • Promoting membership to the American Bear Association


We are looking for individuals that can stay for at LEAST 2 weeks between August 1st and October 1st. Since space is limited, those able to stay longer will be given preference.  We are looking for applicants who are:

  • Flexible regarding changes in schedule and work tasks
  • Comfortable being in close proximity to large wild animals such as bears
  • Able to work closely and cooperatively with other interns, staff, and volunteers
  • Able to work outside in temperatures ranging from the 30s to the 90s and in all weather conditions
  • Willing to endure the many biting insects that inhabit Northern Minnesota during the summer
  • Comfortable talking with the public about the untraditional nature of the VSWS. As a supplemental feeding site, with a 50-year history of feeding wild black bears, we often are controversial

How do I apply?

Fill in an Internship Application and email it to us. Applicants must also send; a resume, a letter of recommendation and one reference. The application deadline for interns seeking to intern in August-October, the deadline is July 15th, 2021.